Career Swamp - Avoiding the Easy Path

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Taking on challenges is sometimes described as "character building." As cliché as this might sound, we take it a step further. It is vital to your livelihood as a sales professional. By taking the easy road, many end up with jobs that are bringing no value from a professional, much less personal, growth standpoint. For them, the path of least resistance becomes a career swamp.

Having interviewed thousands of sales professionals, we have seen two consistent traits in those who have had exceptional sales careers. First, from an early age they sought out challenges. This can be seen in the courses they chose in school, the sports they played and, ultimately, the jobs they took.

Second, when they no longer feel they are being challenged, they move on. As professionals, this is spawned by poor leadership, no advancement, poor training, inferior products, no income growth or lack of job excitement. Often, this means leaving a position where they were exceeding quota for a new challenge.

As executive search professionals, the second point is always met with the question: "Why does he/she want to leave such a lucrative position?" Our response is simple: for a new challenge. They are confident in their abilities to succeed in anything they set out to do. Moreover, the successful sales manager relates all too well. Borrowed from our favorite little green Jedi master, they adhere to the philosophy of: "Do or do not. There is no try."

If you are continually seeing your peers pass you by, don't be afraid to make a change. This may require you stepping outside of your comfort zone, but this is how we grow and evolve. With children, we are constantly encouraging them to broaden their horizons and try new things. As adults, the principle still applies.

Kevin Kermes is the Managing Partner of Hammer Consulting and CEO of Kevin Kermes Inc., a company devoted to empowering professionals with the vital tools and information necessary to find the job they want and build the successful career they deserve.  Sign up for his free e-zine - for insider tips on how to do just that! For more information please visit www.hammerconsulting.net.

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